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J Immunol. 2008 Jun 15;180(12):8410-20.

A key role for redox signaling in rapid P2X7 receptor-induced IL-1 beta processing in human monocytes.

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Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath, Bath, UK.


P2X(7) receptors (P2X(7)Rs) are ATP-gated ion channels that trigger caspase-1 activation in the presence of TLR ligands. Inflammatory caspase-1 is responsible for the proteolytic activation of IL-1beta. However, the signaling events that couple P2X(7)Rs to caspase-1 activation remain undefined. In this study we demonstrate that ATP-induced cellular oxidation is critical for caspase-1 activation and subsequent IL-1beta processing. Purinergic receptor stimulation, including P2X(7)Rs, of endotoxin-primed human monocytes augments NADPH oxidase activity whereas concurrent purinergic receptor stimulation triggers protein denitroyslation, leading to the formation of peroxynitrite. IL-1beta cleavage is blocked under conditions where superoxide anion formation is blocked or monocytes are treated with antioxidants or a peroxynitrite scavenger. Nigericin, a K(+)/H(+) antiporter, also increases NADPH oxidase activity, leading to IL-1beta and caspase-1 processing that is blocked by a peroxynitrite scavenger or inhibition of NADPH oxidase. These data demonstrate that signaling via NADPH oxidase activity is fundamental for the processing of mature IL-1beta induced by P2X(7)R stimulation.

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